Diabetes is a life-threatening metabolic disorder that has become very common in modern life. It is generally caused by poor dietary habits, and lack of physical exercise. Modern-day stress and anxiety only aggravate this condition. Besides medication addressing the root cause, which is lifestyle modification should be of the first and foremost importance. We often hear this adage that life is a rat race, and, to be honest, in today’s modern world it is true. We are so busy with everyday work and other things that we often forget to take care of ourselves. But when you are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes then it is a sign that you have to take some time to keep yourself healthy.
One of the key aspects of managing diabetes is exercise and taking care of our mental health in addition to a healthy diet. And, what could be a better way to achieve both than yoga. Let’s understand that yoga for diabetic patients is highly beneficial in reducing its complications.
Yoga and Diabetes
Yoga is a great method of creating harmony between mind, body, and soul. It helps in managing a variety of lifestyle disorders that also includes type 2 diabetes. Yoga stimulates your internal organs which improves your metabolism. It is a great exercise that focuses on strength, flexibility, and your core which helps you burn calories as well as on your internal organs. Yoga also mitigates stress and lets you relax. It is also a great form of exercise for people who are weak in their joints. There are certain yoga asanas for diabetes that can help you in lowering your blood sugar level and blood pressure, which is great for diabetic patients.
Health benefits of yoga
Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word “Yuj”, which means unite. It is a holistic practice that combines, yoga asana, breathing exercises, and meditation.
Some benefits of yoga for sugar patients:
- It helps in mitigating stress levels
- Aid in lowering blood pressure
- Improves your digestive system
- It rejuvenates your pancreatic cells
- Enhance your muscle endurance
- It promotes weight loss
- It improves your balance that reduces the chances of falling
- Promote better control of blood sugar levels
- Promotes healthy heart
Best yoga asanas for diabetes
Keep on reading to learn some simple yet effective yoga asanas to control diabetes with pictures that will help you in the better management of diabetes.
1. Upward-Facing Dog
- Lie down on your belly and keep your legs straight with the top of the feet should be on your mat.
- Now bend your elbows and place your palms near your lowest rib cage.
- Take a deep breath in and press onto your palm firmly and gently lift your upper torso, lower back, and hips off the mat.
- The entire weight of your body should be on your palm and the top of your feet.
- Keep your gaze straight and make sure that your wrist, shoulder, and neck are in alignment to avoid straining your wrist and neck.
- Hold this pose for at least 5 to 10 breaths and then gently unwind as you exhale.
Benefit: Upward-facing dog simultaneously works on your quadriceps, triceps brachii, and spinal extensors to improve your muscle strength. It lowers your blood pressure, improves blood circulation, and promotes weight loss. It also massages your abdominal muscles which reduces your blood sugar.
2. Ardha Matsyendrasana
- Sit on your yoga mat, keeping your back straight and legs stretched out in front of you.
- Bend your left leg and place your left heel beside your right hip.
- Take your right leg over your left knee and place it beside your left knee.
- Place your left hand on the left side of your right knee and keep your right hand behind your hips.
- Keeping your spine erect, twist your waist, shoulder, and neck towards the right, and keep your gaze towards the right shoulder.
- Stay in the pose and keep breathing for at least 5 to 10 breaths.
- Gently release from the pose and repeat to the other side.
Benefit: This yoga asana for diabetes gently massages your internal organs, makes your spine supple, and boosts oxygen supply to the lungs. This yoga pose is like a retreat for your pancreas and liver which further promotes insulin production in your body.
3. Seated Forward Bend
- Sit on your mat and stretch your legs outward in front of you.
- As you inhale stretch your arms over your head.
- As you exhale, bend your upper torso and try to touch your toes with your hands.
- Gently rest your forehead on your knee, close your eyes, and breathe.
- Bend your knees a little to avoid straining your lower back.
- Stay in the pose for 5 to 6 breaths and gently unwind.
Benefits: It is a great asana to relieve stress and anxiety. It helps in lowering blood pressure and tone your pelvic muscles.
4. Kapalbhati Pranayama
- Sit in sukhasana with your back straight and place both hands on your knees.
- Take a deep inhale and as you breathe out, pull your stomach and navel towards your spine forcefully.
- As you relax your breath will flow into your lungs naturally.
- In Kapalbhati, your inhale is passive and your exhale should be active. Take at least twenty such breaths and then relax and return to your normal breathing
- Try to do two or three more rounds of kapalbhati as per your comfort.
Benefit: When it comes to pranayama for diabetes, then kapalbhati is the one. It enhances your metabolic system and aids in reducing weight. It stimulates your abdominal muscles and promotes insulin production in your body, hence highly beneficial for people suffering from diabetes.
Note: Pregnant ladies and menstruating ladies should avoid Kapalbhati as it involves vigorous abdominal movement. People who have recently undergone abdominal surgery, or have an artificial pacemaker or stent should strictly avoid Kapal Bhati pranayama. Also, people suffering from high blood pressure only practice this under the guidance of a yoga expert. Although Kapalbhati should be done on an empty stomach, however, a diabetic person should consume a light snack before practicing to avoid Hypoglycemia.
5. Supine Spinal Twist
- Lie down on your back with your arms stretched out in the form of a “T “and legs stretched out.
- Now bend your knees and pull them towards your chest and then move your knees to your left side.
- Bend your neck towards your right.
- Bring your left to your bent knees and put slight pressure on your bent knees.
- Close your eyes, relax and breathe for a few seconds.
- Gently open your eyes, straighten your legs, and then repeat on the other side.
Benefit: This is a restorative yoga pose that enhances your blood flow to your digestive organs. It massages your abdominal organs and helps in controlling blood glucose levels. It is also great for relieving pain and stiffness from your back, hips, and spine.
Regular practice of yoga can have a great impact on your overall health and wellbeing. One should practice yoga as per their ability for at least 30 to 40 minutes daily in the morning and evening. Regular practice of yoga leads to better management of diabetes and its complications. So what is stopping you? Start your journey to wellness with the above-mentioned yoga asanas for diabetes.